CHICAGO (CBS) -- Eight purported street gang members have been indicted on racketeering and drug trafficking charges in federal court in northwest Indiana.
WBBM Newsradio's Mike Krauser reports the Two Six Nation street gang – which has roots in Chicago, and has spread into northwest Indiana – uses a cartoon rabbit with a bent ear as a symbol, but federal prosecutors allege the warm and fuzzy ends there.
David Capp, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, and Chicago U.S. Atty. Zach Fardon said the gang's violent crimes are numerous, including allegations they regularly moved hundreds of pounds of illicit drugs and killed at least two people.
"My message to those who are members of, or who continue to associate with violent street gangs – we are coming after you, and you are next" Capp said.
"Violent street gangs like the Two Six move drugs and guns and violence. We will follow," Fardon said.
James Trusty, the Chief of Organized Crime in the U.S. Justice Department, said there are more than 40 alleged crimes detailed in the indictment against eight members and associates of the Two Six Nation, including:
Frank "Pumpkin" Perez Jr., 33, of Verona, Pennsylvania; Adron "AWOL" Herschel Tancil, 36, of East Chicago; Jesus "Chu Chu" Valentine Fuentes, 39, of Gary, Ind; Anthony "P-nut" Cresencio Aguilera, 35, of Portage, Ind.; Oscar "Cos" Cosme, 41, of East Chicago; Ester "Mama D" Carrera, 61, of Gary; Paul "Big Brock" Brock, 27, of Gary; and Alma Delia Carrera, 28, of Gary.
"The indictment alleges that the Two Six Nation orchestrated and carried out a series of brutal crimes; including murders, kidnapping, drug trafficking, robberies, and other offenses spanning more than two decades," Trusty said. "The gang brandished weapons like sawed-off shotguns and AK-47 assault rifles."
Tancil, Fuentes and Cosme are charged in the May 2003 murder of Julio Cartagena in East Chicago. Another purported gang member, Kiontay Kyare Pennington, has pleaded guilty to murder for his role in the slaying.
Perez is charge in connection with the July 1999 murder of Jose Pena Jr. in Whiting. Perez made headlines in 2011 when he was arrested in Pennsylvania for Pena's murder, following a shootout with police.
Capp said the work of the Chicago Police Department's gang intelligence was invaluable to the case.
Federal prosecutors used the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act to go after the gang – a tactic once reserved for the mob – to charge them with an ongoing criminal conspiracy.
"This is our third use of the federal RICO statue over the past few years against a violent street gang in northwest Indiana. We are going to continue to use this powerful tool to get these individuals off the street," Capp said.
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